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Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his most recent estimate is of the total administrative cost of the benefit system, broken down by benefit; and what the administrative cost of the benefit system was in 1997. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The information requested on total administrative costs is not available in the format requested. The Department has recently commenced the implementation of a new Resource Management System, which when fully commissioned is intended to produce this type of information. DWP has developed an interim solution to provide operational unit costs by benefit for 2004-05, however the administration costs on which the unit costs are based exclude non-recurrent costs, other DWP activities, policy and other central costs. Consequently analysis of total administration costs broken down by benefit is not available.
The Department for Work and Pensions was formed in June 2001 from the Department of Social Security and parts of the former Department for Education and Employment including the Employment Service. Therefore data are not available prior to that date.
In the meantime, the latest available data on total administrative costs, taken from the 2004-05 published accounts of each agency (net of income) are as noted in the following table. Figures for 2005-06 are not yet available.
|Agency||2004-05 (£ million outturn|
The administration costs for Jobcentre Plus also include the costs of administering labour market activities. The costs for the Pension Service also include the costs of delivering pensions forecasts.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 30 January, Official Report, column 253W, on benefits, if he will provide the figures collected by his Department since January. 
|Incapacity Benefit (IB) and Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) leavers by destination during periods shown.|
|IB/ SDA claims ending in the last six months( 1)||IB/SDA claims ending in the last 12 months( 2)||IB/SDA claims ending in the last seven years( 3)|
|(1) IB/SDA claims ending in the last six months include IB/SDA claims terminating from 1 June 2005 to 30 November 2005. It is not possible to use the latest IB/SDA terminations (February 2006) as it would not give enough data to determine if they transfer to other benefits or return to IB/SDA. (2) IB/SDA claims ending in the last 12 months include IB/SDA claims terminating from 1 December 2004 to 30 November 2005. (3) IB/SDA claims ending in the last seven includes IB/SDA claims terminating from 1 December 1998 to 30 November 2005. (4) Those transferring to other benefits include those moving onto IS/PC, JSA, WFTC, DPTC within 90 days of the IB/SDA claim ending. (5) Return to IB/SDA includes those claimants who make another claim to IB/SDA within 90 days of their previous claim terminating. (6) It is known that the number recorded as returning to work underestimates the true situation. It is not possible to determine the number that moved to employment, however the "Destinations of Benefit Leavers 2004" report showed that 62 per cent. of IS, JSA and IB leavers entered employment of 16 hours or more a week. This compares to 61 per cent. in 2003, it is therefore expected that this proportion is fairly consistent over time. Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred totals may not sum due to rounding. 2. Numbers are based on five per cent samples, and are therefore subject to a degree of sampling variation. 3. Destinations of terminated IB/SDA claims are assigned in the priority order shown above. 4. Figures for the "last six months" and "last 12 months" given above will increase significantly following receipt of late notifications. Source: Information Directorate, five per cent samples (terminations dataset).|
|Incapacity Benefit (IB) commencements where the claimant had formerly claimed IB in the previous 12 months: Great Britain|
|All commencements||Commencements with former IB claim in previous 12 months||Percentage|
| Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred. 2. Commencement figures for the latest quarter do not include any late notifications and are subject to major increases in future quarters. 3. Earlier quarters have been updated to include late notified terminations, including terminations for state pension. Source: Information Directorate, five per cent samples (terminations dataset).|
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 30 January 2006, Official Report, column 246W, on benefits, if he will provide the figures collected by his Department since January. 
|Incapacity benefit commencements already in receipt of income support by quarter|
|Thousand and percentage|
|All incapacity benefit commencements||Those already in receipt of income support||Percentage of all incapacity benefit commencements|
| Notes: 1. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 100 and expressed in thousands. 2. Numbers are based on a five per cent. sample, and are therefore subject to a degree of sampling variation. These figures should be used as a guide to the current situation only. 3. Figures for the latest quarter do not include any late notifications and are subject to major changes in future quarters. For illustration purposes, total commencements for May 2004 increased by 18 per cent. in the year following their initial release. 4. Income support figures will include a small number of minimum income guarantee and pension credit claimants. 5. Incapacity benefit figures exclude severe disability allowance, since there are no new severe disability allowance commencements. Source: DWP Information Directorate five per cent sample.|
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 30 January, Official Report, column 257W, on benefits, if he will provide the figures collected by his Department since January. 
|Incapacity Benefit (IB) and Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) claimants by diagnosis group: Great Britain, February 2006|
| Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. 'Claimant' figures include all IB/SDA claimants, including IB credits only cases. 3. Causes of incapacity are based on the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, published by the World Health Organisation. Source: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent data|
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what procedures are followed to consult the next of kin when an application for an appointeeship is made by a social service department for the authority to receive pensions and other benefits due to pensioners and others. 
James Purnell: No inquiries are made of the next of kin. Generally social services have either been approached by the family/next of kin to act or there is no immediate family/next of kin who is able or willing to act as appointee. The appointment would be reviewed if the situation changed.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people receiving carers' benefit were affected by the provisions in regulation four of the Social Security benefits up-rating regulations 2006. 
Mr. Plaskitt: The recovery principles for housing benefit and council tax benefit are contained in the housing benefit/council tax benefit overpayments Guide, which can be found on the internet at: www.dwp.gov.uk/housingbenefit/manuals/overpay/
There have also been two administrative circulars, A4/2006 and A13/2006, issued this year, which cover the overpayments regulation changes that were made in April 2006 and a Tribunal of Commissioners decision covering overpayments policy matters. The guidance given in the circulars will be incorporated into the Guide in a forthcoming update. The circulars can currently be found on the internet at: www.dwp.gov.uk/hbctb/2006/
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what proportion of housing benefit claims subject to the top-rate of non-dependant deduction in 2005-06 income details for the non-dependent were provided to the benefit authority. 
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